How green is your L&D? Where is the climate concern from people development professionals?

Between extinction rebellion, Greta Thunberg and the growing political consensus it is clear 2019 may finally be the year where climate change is taken seriously.  I posted briefly about this in April but its been telling of late how little (if at all) this topic has permeated into L&D professional conversations.

In some ways L&D have led the way in corporate environmentalism – the shift towards eLearning and virtual classrooms have performed considerable savings in travel time and CO2.  Often due to budget pressure L&D has found new ways to support learning and performance.  However, we continue to see job posts advertised where location is the primary factor – rather than recognising the true power of global collaboration technologies.  VUCA and other challenges to L&D/organisational strategies are talked about but sustainability is talked about in a business sense, not in the sense of making your work more sustainable.  In a quick Google search, the top results relating to ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ L&D are nothing to do with the environment or climate crisis at all.  For example, the topic article returned for ‘sustainable L&D’ is a typical L&D article, namely that it considers the chance of survival for L&D in terms of proving worth to the boardroom, rather than anything to do with contributing to how sustainable the organisation is environmentally.

Learning (in and outside of the workplace) is an essential aspect of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) as both an enabler and as specific parts of goals, such as “Quality Education”.  However, the learning and development field seems silent on the topic and continues to pass this issue on to others within the organisation.  The time has come for far more of a focus?

MyAnalytics in Microsoft365: first impressions

Jumping on the data bandwagon (where ‘analytics’ seems to be the new ‘big’) Microsoft’s offering – MyAnalytics – was made available to me in my organisation this week (having previously been part of the ‘Delve’ branding).  Here’s Microsoft’s own introduction:

This data basically shows what you’ve been up to in Office365 – such as time spent in meetings, how much time you’ve spent in Outlook when you should be in “quiet” time (i.e. when you should be at home with your feet up), etc.

Aggregated, this data would be pretty powerful.  For the individual, at least for me, it seems to just reinforce what you probably already know – how quick you reply to emails, how much you work on those “quiet days” and who your “top collaborators” are.  At an aggregate level this covers some ground where research has been done in the past – for example the collaborators data is effectively network analysis and could well highlight other things that are happening in your organisation, for example the hidden influencers who are top collaborators but perhaps not in positions of traditional organisational power in the hierarchy/matrix.  Unfortunately this isn’t possible, albeit for understandable reasons:

Data privacy

None of a user’s personal information is shared with their co-workers or managers.

MyAnalytics adheres to compliance regulations, such as the GDPR.

I used something similar a while back at the desktop level that highlighted time spent in active applications – at the time it was nearly all Firefox and Outlook but also highlighted how much time I actually used Articulate Storyline and other things.  The Microsoft solution seems quite good in going beyond the desktop to the use of the services across devices.  However, for those with international roles the concept of working hours is, of course, very tricky.  Yes, you might ‘normally’ work 9-5 in Europe but those 7am calls with Australia would, from an Analytics perspective, count towards working outside your hours and cutting into “quiet times”.

For those really struggling with focus at work and allowing email to run their time, however, the data sets, suggestions and goal setting tools are likely to at least offer some help.  Nice list of what is included here.  Ultimately this can be useful for personal reflection, for example in agreeing outcomes as part of team behaviour change in improving work life balance.